mbp 13'' 2.4 vs 2.6 GHZ, 8 VS 16GB RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by telitsa, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. telitsa macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2013
    I am planning to buy my first Macbook pro and I'm still not sure on which specs to choose.
    I want the 13'' inch version, I use it for intense professional Internet work, multitasking, social media management, etc (but not gaming for example or video editing) and since it's for professional use, I'm not sure which upgrades it requires.
    I'm torn between the option of 2.4 GHz with 16GB RAM and that of 2.6GHz with 8GB RAM. They're at the same price, but which one do you think is needed more for the use I want?
    Thanks a lot for your help! :)
  2. v654321 macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2011
    Vilvoorde, Belgium
    Yesterday I took delivery of the 13 inch rMBP with 2.4GHz CPU, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD.

    It seems the general consensus here is that the move from 2.4GHz to 2.6GHz is much more interesting than the move from 2.6GHz i5 to 2.8GHz i7.

    Not sure whether you're planning to keep this one for a few years.

    I don't do anything major except for browsing, console based UNIX administration, movie watching and some general office stuff at home. 8GB was more than sufficient for me and if I ever feel underpowered or out of memory, I will buy a new one and sell this one. But given my uses and the fact that Apple is more and more aiming to become power efficient, I'm convinced there will also be a push to resource efficiency.

    I have no regrets on taking the 2.4GHz with 8GB. But if you're in doubt, it's better you take the 16GB with 2.4GHz processor. The 2.4 vs 2.6 is less noticable compared to the 8 vs 16 debate.
  3. smakdown61 macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2008
    I have 16gb ram in mine. The only time I've seen my actual usage get close to 8gb was when running my Win 7 VM. Otherwise its usually around 3-4 gb with safari, mail, itunes, and several small chat/twitter apps running.

    It actually says it uses anywhere from 10-16 gb but the rest is just cached from opening/closing other apps. OS X will use whatever memory you have left (8GB, 16GB, 32GB, etc..) for caching.
  4. treyjustice macrumors 65816


    Jun 14, 2009
    Get the 2.4 with 8 gb. You aren't doing anything crazy. I browse with a lot of tabs, HD video, photoshop, garageband, etc. and never don't have enough ram or processing power.
  5. telitsa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2013
    So, is it more of 8 VS 16GB RAM to think?


    Thanks for the reply. Do you think it'll be fine like that for selling/replacing in 3 years for example? I'm trying to think from every aspect (but I'm starting to think that you're right with this suggestion).
  6. GTRagnarok macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2010
    Ordered mine yesterday. Never had a MacBook before, so this will be very interesting. For the CPU, I went with the 2.6GHz one. It's not that much more than the 2.4GHz and the graphics can go to 1.2GHz instead of 1.1GHz. For the RAM, I went with 16GB. Overkill for me, but I expect to use this for a very long time, and I just know I'll regret not getting it down the line. The 256GB SSD was fine for me.
  7. v654321 macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2011
    Vilvoorde, Belgium
    Yes, I consider that a CPU power deficit will be less noticeable than a RAM deficit. I nevertheless consider that even 8GB is sufficient RAM but if you have to choose, I would chose the more RAM.

    RAM gives you more headroom to do all bunch of stuff. It gives more breathing room to the machine. CPU power simply gives it more speed, but even that is marginal. A machine that runs out of memory will feel MUCH more sluggish than a machine that is running out of CPU power.
  8. telitsa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2013
    Great, thanks!
  9. radiohead14 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2008
    do you know how much of a difference that extra 100Mhz with the gpu will make? been trying to find benchmarks or real world experience.
  10. rMBP2013 macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Based on your usage, it makes no sense to upgrade either the RAM or the CPU.

    For your purposes, I'd save that money and invest it in Apple Care or just save it to buy a new Macbook in 3 - 5 year's time.

    I'm in the exact same boat as you and I went with 8 GB RAM (using my Macbook for professional services).

    Rather than upgrading the RAM, I went with 512 GB SSD (which ironically comes with 2.6 GHZ) because I needed more on-hand space.

    Plus, 512 GB SSD is faster than 256 SGB SD, especially when the harddrive starts to fill-up.
  11. klause10 macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2012
    I ordered the 2.6, because i wanted the 512gb ssd. I have pretty much the same use as you. Before i went there i knew i wanted the 16gb, not because i need it now but because i wish to keep it for 6-8 years if i Can. Can't Wait to Pick it up when i go to New York en two weeks (BTO wanting In store) :)
  12. telitsa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2013
    Great replies everyone! I'm glad I asked and as it seems, the budget will be less, comparing to the initial I thought I needed! ;)
  13. Jayeegii macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2013
    got my 2,6/16GB/256GB 13" rMBP

    i got it just a few days ago and it is an extremely good machine. However it had the same display and touchpad freezing issue but i got an update today that should fix it. i think it has fixed, will be seeing for a few more days.
    As I do some normal gaming(dota2) on it works great ...
  14. littlepud macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2012
    IMO the 2.4/8/256 version is the best bang for buck.
  15. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    A lot of people "overbuy" for their needs. Honestly, reading your first post, my initial reaction was to think you actually need an iPad with a bluetooth keyboard. If I understand your uses correctly, that's plenty powerful(and more) for your needs.
  16. ckeck macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2005
    CPU won't have any impact at all based on your usage patterns. 16GB of RAM won't immediately either but will likely come into play later on:

    - longevity
    - resale

    If they are the same price I would go with the slower CPU and 16GB of RAM. You can't add it later.


    Some people like running "real" desktop apps. That is the only problem with this scenario.
  17. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I understand that. But when I read "I use it for intense professional Internet work, multitasking, social media management, etc" not a lot of "real" desktop apps come to mind.

    Even if there are such things, I'd spring for a MacBook Air for more portability and more battery life, as the OP doesn't much processing power at all.
  18. Merode macrumors 6502


    Nov 5, 2013
    Warszawa, Poland
    I've just ordered pre-configured 13" with 2,4GHz, 8GB ram and 256GB SSD.
    The, 2,6 CPU is some improvement, but 2,4 will do just as well. For me it's enough.

    Kind of funny reading lots of people complaining about hiccups on 13". From what I tested at the store 2,4GHz is buttery smooth except for lunchpad which has to be software issue with its freezes, or rather stops in the middle of swipe. I can live with that until update.
  19. mrmors macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2011
    Well it seems that Mavericks will use as much memory as you've got.
    I bought the 2.6, 16gb, 512gb, and I'm currently sitting here with 1 VM open (using 4gb) and Chrome open with about 5 tabs, and I'm using up 15.5gb of memory :s
    5gb wired, 5gb app, virtual memory at 16.76gb :s
  20. ckeck macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2005
    Well "multitasking" was the big word there for me to go the laptop route. I would definitely agree with the MacBook Air conclusion though, a much better option. No noticeable speed difference with the CPU and any GPU rendering will be faster on the Air since it's not having to push a "retina" resolution.


    Check and see what's using the most. I bet Chrome is chewing up the majority of it.

    I don't know what's up with Chrome lately but it's got some HUGE memory leaking issues.
  21. magnumpi macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2012
    I agree on that. Unless you have to work with big amounts of data, multiple VM or insane multitasking I don't see the point of getting 16 GB of RAM.
  22. amzchhabra macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2010
    London, UK
    My initial order was for a 2.6 i5 BTO however due to a manufacturing defect I returned it the next day. I did some side by side testing in store and walked out with a 2.4 instead so I didn't have to wait 3 weeks for a replacement. Nothing noticeable for me to have that increased clock speed...

    If I remember correctly geekbench scores for multicore performance was 5400ish against 5750ish showing the performance increase isn't massive.

    However going from a 2010 MBA that scored 1400, it's a massive increase for me either way!

    As for the whole 8/16GB debate, I have an iMac with 12GB in it and never get it over 6GB despite running 3/4 VMs at a time along with all the tools I use for work as a network consultant. The way mavericks is coded, 8 GB IS plenty. For day to day browsing, iWork and video, my MBA was spot on with only 2GB ram on Mavericks.

    We are not running Microsoft products, Apple recognise people want their equipment to last longer and are making their software more efficient, not more bloated.
  23. Mr Mystery macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2013
    Identical configuration I ordered. Arrives Monday. :D
  24. Cibike macrumors member


    Nov 10, 2013
    well few day back I would say that 8GB ram is enough (that time I had Air 2013 with 4GB ram) but when I moved to 8GB ram I can see, that 16GB will be slightly better because OS X keeping all cache in ram, so I usually have 6GB of ram used by 3-4GB apps and 1-2GB file cache and when you running few application hungry for ram at the same time, you will be much more happy with 16GB, because there is no limitation - I was able to see even swapping to SSD with 8GB of ram using 5 applications at the same time because of file cache
  25. telitsa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2013
    That's true, we all tend to 'overbuy', simply by being amazed by anything new and fancier (which is added on the total amount paid).
    An iPad wouldn't be the answer though, since I need a new laptop, managing tasks for several clients (not just social media). I understand your point of view, though!


    Do you think that the Air can compete with the 2.4/8/256 mbp then? I'm starting to feel that the mentioned model seems ideal.

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